I work as an admin arranger in one of our funeral homes in Sunderland and I’m also a Member Pioneer for Boldon Fulwell and Hylton Castle.

I filled in Co-op’s biggest ever survey into death, dying and bereavement (coop.co.uk/survey) because I feel passionately that death is part of life and encouraging people to talk about it makes it less frightening.

I’m so proud that Co-op is leading the way on tackling the taboos surrounding death and encouraging everyone to chat more openly.

I’ve noticed in my job that when a loved one has passed away – many family members don’t even know whether their loved one wanted to be buried or cremated.

The decision they’ve then got to make leaves them feeling traumatised and worried whether they’ve done the right thing.

Starting the conversation

Once people start the conversation it’s amazing what comes up – everything from music to final resting places.

People start off saying they aren’t bothered but once you get chatting you learn all sorts – things you never even knew about the person and things you didn’t even know about yourself!

The more open we are, the more we’ll enjoy the life we have.

The survey closes on 14 June so please fill it in and pass the link on to your family and friends: coop.co.uk/survey

Cheryle Waters
Funeral admin arranger and Member Pioneer